FORD PERFORMANCE NASCAR: ATLANTA NOTES
A doubleheader highlights this weekend’s NASCAR action as the NASCAR Camping World Truck and NASCAR Xfinity Series take to the track on Saturday with the NASCAR Cup Series wrapping up the action on Sunday. Ryan Blaney is the defending champion of this weekend’s Folds of Honor 500, which capped a five-race win streak for Ford at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
This Week’s Schedule:
Saturday, March 19 – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, 2:30 p.m. (FS1)
Saturday, March 19 – NASCAR XFINITY Series, 5 p.m. (FS1)
Sunday, March 20 – NASCAR Cup Series, 3 p.m. (FOX)
FORD IN THE NASCAR CUP SERIES AT AMS
- Ford has 35 all-time NASCAR Cup Series wins at AMS.
- NASCAR Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen won the Atlanta 500 three straight years (1962-64).
- Brad Keselowski, Kevin Harvick and Ryan Blaney have Ford wins at the track.
- Georgia native Bill Elliott is Ford’s all-time leader at AMS with five wins.
- The Wood Brothers rank second with 12 series wins at AMS.
FORD IN THE NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT AMS
- Ford has 10 NASCAR XFINITY Series wins at AMS, all but two by RFK Racing.
- Kevin Harvick won at the track in 2018 and eventually swept the weekend.
- Jeff Gordon won his first series race, and the first one ever held at AMS, with Ford in 1992.
- Harvick leads all drivers with five series wins.
- Mark Martin has the most Ford wins with three while Jeff Burton and Carl Edwards have two each.
FORD IN THE CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES AT AMS
- Grant Enfinger recorded Ford’s first series win at the track in 2020.
- Ford has 107 all-time series victories.
BLANEY GOES FOR REPEAT WHILE FORD LOOKS TO START NEW WIN STREAK
Ford saw its five-race winning streak at Atlanta Motor Speedway come to an end in July, but Ryan Blaney’s victory in this event a year ago gave the manufacturer at least one win at the 1.5-mile track in five straight seasons. Blaney passed Kyle Larson eight laps to go and extended his lead the rest of the way as he took the checkered flag by 2.083 seconds ahead of Larson. Blaney led 25 laps on the day as he won for the first time in Atlanta and fifth time his career. He was going in the top 10 by fellow Ford drivers Chris Buescher (7th) and Kevin Harvick (10th). Ford’s AMS streak started when Brad Keselowski and Harvick alternated wins from 2017-2020.
THE FIRST TIME SINCE…
Austin Cindric and Chase Briscoe have become first-time NASCAR Cup Series winners in the season’s first month. Cindric captured the season-opening Daytona 500 while Briscoe won last weekend’s Ruoff Mortgage 500 at Phoenix Raceway. This marks the first time since 2011 that multiple Ford drivers have recorded their first series win in the same season. On that occasion, Trevor Bayne won the Daytona 500 with the Wood Brothers, David Ragan took the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona, and Marcos Ambrose captured the road course event at Watkins Glen with Richard Petty Motorsports.
SIX FORD DRIVERS IN CUP TOP 10
Ford leads all manufacturers with six drivers currently in the top 10 of the NASCAR Cup Series point standings. Joey Logano leads the overall standings while fellow Blue Oval teammates Chase Briscoe, Aric Almirola, Ryan Blaney and Austin Cindric are fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively. Kevin Harvick, on the strengths of his season-best sixth-place run on Sunday, rounds out the top 10 in 10th.
AT LEAST ONE TOP 10 FINISH
Ford has 15 full-time teams competing in the NASCAR Cup Series this season and after four races all but five of them have at least one top 10 finish. Aric Almirola was the only driver to have a top 10 in the first three races and narrowly missed extending that to four after a 12th-place finish on Sunday. Ryan Blaney, Chase Briscoe, Joey Logano and Kevin Harvick each have a pair while Austin Cindric, Michael McDowell, Brad Keselowski, Chris Buecher and David Ragan (No. 15 RWR) have one each.
FORD ATLANTA HIGHLIGHTS
KESELOWSKI GETS FIRST CUP WIN FOR MUSTANG
Brad Keselowski gave Mustang its first NASCAR Cup Series victory as he held off Martin Truex Jr. at the finish to win the Folds of Honor 500 at Atlanta Motor Speedway in 2019. Keselowski, who was battling an illness all weekend and had Austin Cindric standing by in case he needed relief, led the final 33 laps to post his 28th career victory. In all, Ford led 177 of the 325 laps and won for the third straight year at the 1.5-mile track.
Kevin Harvick led eight times for a race-high 181 laps in winning the Fold’s of Honor 500 in 2018 and completing a sweep of the NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR XFINITY races. After winning all three stages the day before in his Ford Mustang, Harvick took the first stage in the Cup race and then led the final 25 laps to post his 38th career victory and third with Ford. Brad Keselowski finished second and Clint Bowyer third to give Ford a 1-2-3 sweep. Ford dominated from start to finish as four drivers combined to lead 272-of-325 laps. Harvick became the first Ford driver to sweep a Cup/XFINITY weekend since Joey Logano did it in 2015 at Watkins Glen International.
Morgan Shepherd captured Ford’s 400th series victory in 1993 when snow delayed the Motorcraft Quality Parts 500 for nearly a week. The original race date was Sunday, March 14, 1992, but a blizzard that would eventually be called the ‘Storm of the Century’ pounded the Atlanta area with 6-8 inches of snow. An estimated 82,000 fans came back the following Saturday, where they were greeted by souvenir rigs that sports t-shirts proclaiming ‘I Survived the Atlanta Blizzard 500.’ When the race started, Mark Martin had the dominant car as he led 140 of the first 225 laps, but engine problems put him out of the running and Shepherd took advantage as he stretched his fuel mileage to the finish, leading the final 12 laps and winning by a whopping 23.50 seconds. The win for Shepherd, who was 51 at the time, was his fourth and final victory in the NASCAR Cup Series.
Marvin Panch was the first driver to sweep both AMS races in a single season when he did it in 1965 with the Wood Brothers. Georgia native Bill Elliott posted a pair of season sweeps (1985 and 1992) and won five times overall while Carl Edwards registered the first win of his career at the speedway in 2005 and matched it later that fall.
LORENZEN LAPS THE FIELD
Ford went to victory lane at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the first time in 1961 when NASCAR Hall of Famer Fred Lorenzen captured the Festival 250 on July 9 while driving for Holman-Moody. He did it in dominating fashion as well by lapping the field. Lorenzen, who led 52 laps on the day, beat runner-up Bob Welborn by one lap in his 1961 Ford. Richard Petty finished third that afternoon, but was three laps down. That victory served as a springboard for Lorenzen’s future success at AMS, which included becoming the first driver to win the Atlanta 500 three straight years (1962-63-64).
FORD’S ATLANTA NASCAR CUP SERIES WINNERS
1961 – Fred Lorenzen
1962 – Fred Lorenzen
1963 – Fred Lorenzen
1964 – Fred Lorenzen and Ned Jarrett
1965 – Marvin Panch (sweep)
1967 – Cale Yarborough and Dick Hutcherson
1968 – LeeRoy Yarbrough
1969 – LeeRoy Yarbrough
1975 – Buddy Baker
1978 – Bobby Allison
1981 – Neil Bonnett
1985 – Bill Elliott (sweep)
1987 – Ricky Rudd and Bill Elliott
1990 – Morgan Shepherd
1991 – Mark Martin
1992 – Bill Elliott (sweep)
1993 – Morgan Shepherd
1994 – Ernie Irvan and Mark Martin
1997 – Dale Jarrett
2002 – Kurt Busch
2005 – Carl Edwards (sweep)
2008 – Carl Edwards
2017 – Brad Keselowski
2018 – Kevin Harvick
2019 – Brad Keselowski
2020 – Kevin Harvick
2021 – Ryan Blaney (1)
FORD’S ATLANTA NASCAR XFINITY WINNERS
1992 – Jeff Gordon
1997 – Mark Martin
1998 – Mark Martin
2000 – Mark Martin
2004 – Matt Kenseth
2005 – Carl Edwards
2008 – Matt Kenseth
2011 – Carl Edwards
2012 – Ricky Stenhouse Jr.
2018 – Kevin Harvick
FORD’S ATLANTA NASCAR CAMPING WORLD TRUCK SERIES WINNERS
2020 – Grant Enfinger
Ford Performance PR